Yellowhammer News: Alabama Rep. Roby highlights 2017 achievements, expresses frustration with U.S. Senate, media in Wiregrass appearance
OZARK – Tuesday at Hoppergrass Restaurant just a block away from the Dale County Courthouse deep in the heart of Alabama’s Wiregrass region, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) addressed the local Rotary Club with an update from Washington, D.C., highlighting accomplishments from the previous year and what to look forward to in 2018.
Roby explained that despite what has been reported in the press, there had been some noteworthy positives, even with the “gridlock” in the U.S. Senate.
“I do want to share with you some successes of the past year – legislative successes that you won’t hear on the news because they don’t want to talk about the good things that have happened and then tell you about some of my priorities for 2018,” she said.
“We have a lot to be proud of in our country, despite what’s being televised what we are forced to consume,” she added. “Americans have been rightly frustrated with the seemingly endless gridlock and, of course, what happened over the weekend is an example.”
Among the list of items she highlighted were the tax legislation passed last year, strides in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, efforts to overhaul the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, combatting opioid addiction and adding stricter penalties for sex and human trafficking crimes.
Perhaps the most critical item for her district given the location of Fort Rucker and Maxwell Air Force Base was work done in the area of national defense and the military.
“We passed, of course as important as it is to us, a defense funding bill that provides service members with their biggest pay raise in eight years,” she said.
The one stumbling block for getting through these big-ticket agenda items has been overcoming the 60-vote in the Senate. She proclaimed those items were too important to let die in the Senate.
“These are bills we passed in the House, and I, like you, remain very frustrated with the dysfunction in the United States Senate,” she said. “This goes without saying, but these are conservative priorities, and they’re far too important for us just to sit back and let them die. That’s what I’ve had to endure, and you’ve had to endure for the past seven years as you’ve allowed me to serve as your member in the House.”
Despite those struggles, Roby pointed to what is being done to improve economic conditions as a reason to feel encouraged.
“I want you to walk out today encouraged,” Roby said. “Despite what cable news is telling us every day – there’s a lot of things, positive things to bring hope to not just our country but specifically the state of Alabama, especially on the economic front. Americans are confident in our economy and rightfully so. I’m proud of the many steps that we’ve taken in Congress to unleash the private sector, roll back these Obama-era rules and regulations that have been stifling growth. So we had great success in 2017. We have a lot of work left to do. We’re very frustrated with the United States Senate, but we have to look towards 2018. Here we are. It’s upon us and you know we have some challenges ahead. It creates a great opportunity for us in the Congress to recommit to our goals and our priorities on behalf of the American people.”
Following her speech, Roby answered questions from Yellowhammer News about the much-ballyhooed FISA memo, her early impressions of Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) and an evaluation of Donald Trump’s first year in office.
“Alabama’s congressional delegation has a long history of working well together,” she said. “I hope that tradition will continue. We meet and have lunch together once a month. Senator Jones was at our lunch meeting. That was the first time that I had an opportunity to meet him. Clearly, there may be some political policy differences. It is my intention to work with both of our senators to make sure we’re putting forth good conservative policy in the state of Alabama. And, obviously, he voted what I felt was the right way as it related to keeping the government open and the CHIP reauthorization funding. So, we’ll just see. But I intend to work with everybody in the delegation. We have a good, long-standing tradition of doing so and I hope that will continue.”
Just days after passing the year-anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Roby offered her assessment of his first year.
“I’ve supported all of the president’s policies, supported the president’s policy agenda as it relates to the things I’ve outlined in my speech today – tax reform, repeal and replace of Obamacare, all of the deregulation as it relates to small business – our banks, our farmers that are getting killed by this Obama-era regulatory environment,” she said to Yellowhammer News. “The point of my speech today was to point out all of the good things that are happening as a result of Congress and the president working together,” she added. “We have a lot of frustration right now in the United States Senate, as evidenced by what took place last week. But, I think, all in all, the message here today, and I hope it was received is that positive things have happened. Our economy is moving in the right direction, and I think there’s a lot of forward progress in the next year as well.”